Savor Two Chef-Led Cycling Tours of Italy, Piedmont and Sicily

Two men ride road bikes side by side in an urban street on a Culinary Cycling Tour of the Piedmont Wine Region.

Embark on a tantalizing journey through Italy’s culinary landscape with Tourissimo’s exclusive chef-led Piedmont and Sicily cycling tours. From the verdant vineyards of Piedmont to the sun-drenched shores of Sicily, these immersive experiences offer a feast for the senses, blending gourmet cuisine, world-class wines, and breathtaking scenery.

Trip 1: Chef-Led Cycling Tour of Italy’s Piedmont Wine Region

Famed for its truffles and wine, Piedmont is a gourmand’s paradise, with many experts arguing that it produces the best food in Italy. Piedmont’s Langa and Roero regions received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014 and are considered one of Italy’s most important wine production areas. 

This Chef Bike Tour will take guests to the heart of these regions, over rolling hills covered with endless vineyards, past ancient castles, and hidden hilltop hamlets. James Beard Award-winning Chef Jody Adams will cycle alongside guests and play a key role in understanding the region’s cuisine and wine.  

Chef Jody Adams showing cheers with wine to two women near her at a table.

Accommodations include a UNESCO site, a family-owned wine estate with a royal past, and a boutique hotel in the countryside. E-bikes (pedal-assisted system) are available upon request.

“Vineyards cover most of the hills here, and wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, and Nebbiolo are perfectly paired with dishes that will make each meal a gastronomic event,” said Tourissimo co-founder Heather Dowd. “Towns like La Morra, Barolo, and Alba are perfect stops to taste what the region offers. You’ll see how connected the local people are to the land, and how they take pride in everything they produce.”

Tourissimo Co-Founder Heather Dowd

The culinary offerings of Piedmont fuse Northern Italian and French influences, with truffles and mushrooms taking center stage as seasonal highlights. Noteworthy Piedmontese specialties encompass “tajarin” (a type of fresh pasta), “bagna cauda” (a mild sauce featuring anchovies, olive oil, and garlic), “risotto” (Arborio rice cooked with diverse ingredients such as vegetables, porcini mushrooms, and cheeses), and “agnolotti” (local ravioli filled with a savory mixture of meat and vegetables).

On this special edition of the Chef Bike Tour, guests will visit Pollenzo, where the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Science is based, and learn about the Slow Food movement right at its birthplace.

“We have lost count of how many restaurants Chef Adams has opened in the last decade,” said Tourissimo co-founder Beppe Salerno. “As a James Beard Award-winning Chef, she has never stopped advocating for humanitarian and social causes. Her new restaurant, La Padrona, will open inside the new Raffles Hotel in Boston in 2024.

Tourissimo co-founder Beppe Salerno
Three road cyclists looking at an old brick building in Italy's Piedmont Wine Region.

Trip Highlights

Note: Tourissimo is offering this seven-day culinary cycling tour of the Piedmont wine region in Italy on June 23-29, 2024.

  • Some of the best regional food in Italy, including truffles, cheese, and hazelnut Gianduja chocolates
  • Two important wine regions, Langa and Roero
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site (vineyards landscape)
  • Villages of Barolo and Barbaresco, the namesakes of two world-famous red wines
  • “Slow Food” University
  • Stunning cycling along rolling hills covered with vineyards and quaint medieval villages
  • Views that stretch as far as the Alps
  • Castle-topped villages, which lend a historic and romantic feel to the area
  • Visits with producers and a truffle-hunting demo
  • Dinner at Piazza Duomo (3 Michelin Star) and Da Guido (1 Michelin Star)

About Chef Jody Adams: Jody Adams is an American chef and restaurateur. Adams owns and operates TRADE and Porto in Massachusetts. She was the owner and executive chef of Rialto in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for over 20 years. In 1997, she won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in America Northeast.

Trip 2: Chef-Led Culinary Cycling Tour of Sicily

Tourissimo designed another culinary cycling tour of Sicily, led by two celebrity chefs. Double the flavor, right?

Chef Mary Sue Milliken, a James Beard and Julia Child Award-winning chef, cookbook author, activist, and media personality best known for her modern Mexican concept, is back for her seventh tour with Tourissimo. She will accompany her friend, Chef Bob Blumer, Food Network TV host, author, artist, and eight-time Guinness World Record holder. 

Guests will spend seven days cycling through the heart of Southeast Sicily. Every pedal stroke in this seductive and bold region includes a gastronomic journey that mirrors the island’s vibrant cultural tapestry. 

The tour is scheduled for May 26 – June 1, 2024, and starts at $5,495 per person double. That rate includes bicycles, meals, accommodations, and activities. Non-cyclists are welcome, and e-bikes (pedal-assisted system) are available. 

“As you explore the enchanting eastern provinces of Siracusa and Ragusa, let the aromas and tastes of Sicily’s distinct cuisine be your muse and our guest chefs be your expert eye,” said Beppe Salerno, Co-Founder of Tourissimo.

Tourissimo Co-Founder Heather Dowd

While this region is celebrated for its Baroque and Norman architecture, artistic heritage, and intellectual contributions, the food truly steals the show. Sicilian cuisine is a delightful blend of influences from Phoenicians, Greeks, Moors, Arabs, and Normans, creating a unique culinary tradition. Citrus, wild fennel, resins, and pine nuts, to name a few, make any dish distinctively Sicilian. Sicily is also a wine-lovers paradise with 23 DOC zones, offering a wide variety, complexity, and abundance of Bacchus’ unique gifts. 

“Picture yourself dining under the Sicilian sun, indulging in dishes that showcase the island’s bounty – ripe tomatoes, succulent eggplants, and artichokes bursting with flavor,” said Tourissimo Co-Founder Heather Dowd. “Seafood takes center stage, reflecting the island’s proximity to pristine waters. And, of course, no Sicilian feast is complete without an abundance of pasta and the finest olive oil.”

Tourissimo Co-Founder Heather Dowd

But this tour isn’t only about exquisite cuisine; it’s a holistic experience. Guests will cycle through landscapes adorned with rolling hills and vineyards; coastlines kissed by aquamarine waters and ancient historical sites. The guest chefs will play a vital role in understanding the local productions and the preparations that better tell the story of the territory.

Two cyclists riding road bikes on an empty mountain road in Sicily with the coast in the background.
Culinary cycling tour of Sicily

“Immerse yourself in Sicily’s past and present, where every turn of the pedal unveils not only stunning vistas but also the authentic and mouthwatering essence of this captivating island,” said Salerno. “Join us on a journey where each taste tells a story, and every flavor is a piece of Sicily’s unparalleled culinary heritage.”

Trip Highlights

Note: The tour is scheduled for May 26 – June 1, 2024

  • Delve into the diversity of Sicilian cuisine (a cultural crossroads)
  • Explore Scicli, Ragusa, Modica, and Noto (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
  • Savor breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Enjoy an authentic Sicilian cooking class
  • Tour of Ragusa (a Baroque gem)
  • Visit producers and tastings, including olive oil, almonds and almond milk (Slow Food presidium), DOP cheese, fruits and vegetables not found in continental Italy
  • Ride the scenic farmland of the southern island dotted by historical sites
  • Learn how and why the Mediterranean Diet (an intangible UNESCO Cultural Heritage) blends with Arab and Moorish Flavors

Before you Go

A large group of cyclists is standing against a big white wall with their hands in the air and smiling for the camera.

From the lush vineyards of Piedmont to the sun-kissed landscapes of Sicily, Tourissimo’s chef-led cycling tours have provided a glimpse into the soul of Italy’s gastronomic traditions.

Whether you were captivated by the intricate flavors of Piedmont’s truffles and Barolo wines or mesmerized by Sicily’s vibrant blend of Mediterranean influences, one thing is certain—these experiences have left an indelible mark on your palate and your heart.

As you bid farewell to newfound friends and unforgettable destinations, remember that the spirit of Italy’s culinary heritage lives on in every dish, every sip, and every pedal stroke. Until we meet again on the roads less traveled, may the memories of this gastronomic adventure continue to inspire and delight.

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